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HOME: POPULATION ISSUES: PREVENTING HIV INFECTION: Global Youth Partners
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Zimbabwe

Youth Partner

Name: Douglas “PD” Tapfuma
Age: 22
Nationality: Zimbabwean
Affiliated Organization:

HIV/AIDS Support and Therapy Trust
PSI Zimbabwe
The Zimbabwe National Family Planning Council

 

Douglas started his work on HIV/AIDS when he was only 11 years old. In high school, he introduced and managed an “Anti-AIDS” club. The aim of the club is to educate peers about the risks of early sexual relationships, to provide information on the use of male condoms, to reduce HIV related stigma, and to promote abstinence. Through his work at Population Services International (PSI), Douglas has gained valuable lessons and experience in the field of HIV prevention. He has also worked with Church organizations on HIV prevention issues.

Other projects in which Douglas has been involved include promoting VCT and reducing HIV/AIDS-related stigma through a television series currently showing in Zimbabwe called Studio 263. He was also involved in informal discussions on HIV/AIDS, which he considers an effective tool for information dissemination. Douglas is also interested in promoting the use of female condoms.

Douglas enjoys taking photographs, traveling, playing football, watching movies and reading novels. But his greatest passion is to work for the community and to actively participate in programs that educate youth on HIV/AIDS issues. His role models are Mr. Nelson Mandela, Professor M Mhloyi and Dr. G Mhloyi.

 

UNFPA in Zimbabwe

The prevailing humanitarian situation in Zimbabwe and a decline in donor assistance have negatively impacted social and health services. The increasing prevalence of HIV, which now affects one-quarter of the adult population, has also led to an overall loss in productivity. In response, UNFPA has interwoven HIV/AIDS content into all its projects and has helped integrate HIV/AIDS components into training institutions. In addition, UNFPA, along with UNICEF, supports school intervention programmes in adolescent reproductive health and life survival skills.

The goal of the UNFPA Country Programme is to contribute to the improvement of quality of life of the people of Zimbabwe through improvement of RH, HIV prevention and increased gender equality. For adolescents and youth, the programme specifically focuses on increased behaviour change communication to assist youth to delay sexual activity, increase use of condoms and to access and utilize STI/HIV prevention services including voluntary counseling and testing. The Country Programme recognizes that the challenge for population and RH programmes is not only in making services accessible and affordable, but also changing social norms, behaviours and attitudes that inhibit the use of RH services. Hence the programme components include RH, HIV prevention and Gender.

The Country Program is expected to contribute to improved RH status of adolescents and youth through expanded access to RH information, education and counseling services aimed at addressing the special needs of youth and adolescents. So far, the Country Program has enhanced national capacity for:

  • The delivery of integrated quality RH/FP/SH including STI/HIV/AIDS services and thus help to reduce reproductive health related morbidity and mortality
  • Positive behaviour change among adolescents and youth, through a better understanding of reproductive health and gender issues
  • Creation of a favorable environment to further the implementation of ICPD/POA and the Beijing Platform of Action especially as they pertain to reproductive rights including those of adolescents, youth as well as those related to gender equity and empowerment of women.

The Country Programme framework is based on a multi-pronged approach that builds upon existing structures and programmes, including the consolidation of on-going undertakings and pilot initiatives that have been evaluated and found to be successful. The most crucial needs in the health sector are considered to be halting the spread of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, enhancing the capacity of the health delivery system, sustaining core services and making RH services accessible and affordable.

Sources: http://www.unfpa.org/profile/zimbabwe.cfm
  http://www.unfpa.org.zw/docs/program.htm
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